Do you ever wonder about how different your life might be if you’d only made a different choice? Well, Brendan Murphy takes on that question and more in the glorious reimagining of a beloved television series that is FRIEND (The One With Gunther).

The show is both wonderfully hilarious and delightfully nostalgic, mixing Murphy’s commentary on the series with his portrayal of a Gunther that you just can’t help but sympathise with. He keeps the audience captivated right up to the show’s finale, where he presents an alternative conclusion to FRIENDS that not only includes a Notting Hill reference, but also is the perfect balance of suspense and mirth. When asked about the show, one audience member said that "it was brilliant to see another side of Gunther" and that they "hadn't laughed that much in ages." The show is certainly tailored towards fans of FRIENDS – whilst it’s impossible not to be charmed by Murphy’s enthusiasm and rapport with his audience, the show is filled with references to the original series that an audience member unfamiliar with FRIENDS would be unable to appreciate. That being said, the jokes and allusions are in no way impossibly obscure, with Murphy paying homage to lobsters, eighteen-page essays, and transponsters in a manner that makes it impossible not to laugh. His impressions of a whole host of fan favourite characters are no less hysterical; his impersonations of David, Gary, and Mr Heckles are particularly superb.

Murphy brings a whole new dimension to Gunther in a way that pays homage to the tone and message of the series, and also to James Michael Tyler, who tragically passed away on the 24th October 2021 after battling prostate cancer. The show is a beautiful tribute to the actor who will always be remembered for his role as the original and iconic Gunther in FRIENDS.

FRIEND (The One With Gunther) is especially strong in the way that it honours the spirit of the series on which it is based whilst also being unafraid to criticise the plot points and supposed jokes that would be regarded in a very different manner by viewers today. In particular, Murphy pauses telling Gunther’s tale in order to draw attention to the more problematic narratives presented within the series. His parody of the song Acceptable In The 80s brings a strength to the show that it would have otherwise lacked, as Murphy emphasises the importance of diversity and kindness whilst also recognising the influence of the 1990s.

All in all, Murphy’s upbeat and uplifting take on the tale that began in 1994 and ended in 2004 after a glorious ten year run that brought us 236 episodes, three divorces, one part trifle part shepherd’s pie mixture, a chick, a duck, and endless cups of coffee is bound to leave you with tears of laughter in your eyes and a bright smile on your face.